In Part Two of the novel, we’ve analyzed the growing relationship of Winston and Julia, we’ve seen more of the power and reach of Big Brother, and we’ve seen Winston begin to commit more and more crimes against the party. As we review Part Two, remember to consider the main themes we’ve been analyzing:
- The Power of Language
- Privacy and Technology
- The Control of Information
- The Importance of History
- Individual Freedoms
- Relationships and Human Connections
As you analyze these themes in your groups, you will pick a minimum of three scenes in Part Two that you believe are clear examples of where you theme is playing out in Orwell’s work. You will prepare with your group members to debate others that your interpretation of these scenes is the accurate and correct on (Note: there is no one ‘correct’ interpretation for many of these scenes – you will be assessed on your rhetorical skills in this debate).
You also worked together to brainstorm a list of the most important scenes, events, and characters in Part Two. Below you will find a series of questions generated around those topics you selected – these questions will be incorporated into your test over Part Two, so please be sure to review them!
- Early in Part Two Julia gives Winston a note reading “I love you”. How does this act illustrate her nature and personality? What other actions does she take in Part Two that clearly illustrate her character?
- What is the symbolism behind Winston and Julia’s first meeting place in the glen – “the golden country”?
- At the end of chapter two, Julia and Winston listen to the song of a thrush that lands in the glen. Later, in chapter ten, Winston remembers the song and asks Julia:
“Do you remember,” he said, “the thrust that sang to us, that first day at the edge of the wood?”
“He wasn’t singing to us,” said Julia. “He was singing to please himself. Not even that. He was just singing.”
What do Winston and Julia’s vastly different interpretations of this same event reveal to us about their beliefs and their relationship?
- Music is very important to Part Two – in chapter 4 Winston and Julia hear a washerwoman singing outside the antique shop while she hangs up laundry. Later, in chapter 10, they hear her again. What is the significance and irony of the song the washerwoman is singing?
- “The bird sang, the proles sang, the Party did not sing … You were dead; theirs [the proles] was the future. But you could share in that future if you kept alive the mind as they kept alive the body and passed on the secret doctrine that two plus two makes four” (Orwell ).
In this quote we see Winston’s belief that, if he can still keep control of his own thoughts and beliefs he can achieve some form of ‘freedom’, like that the proles have. What would be Julia’s belief in this scenario?
- What causes Winston to suddenly remember what happened to his mother and sister? Why is this long-forgotten memory so important to Winston?
- How do we know that the Inner Party is allowed more freedom than the Outer Party members? Cite evidence from chapter 8 to support your answer.
- During the Hate Week demonstrations, the speaker suddenly switches from describing the enemy as Eurasia to Eastasia – explain the effect does this has on the party members at the demonstration, and on Winston.
- How does Big Brother suddenly shifting the enemy of the state demonstrate their power? (hint – your answer should discuss one of the themes of the novel).
- Goldstein is painted as a radical and extremist in Part One of the novel, and is always a part of the Two Minutes Hate. However, once the reader sees his book in Part Two he no longer seems to be violent radical. Why does the Party see Goldstein’s book as dangerous? What treat does it pose?
- According to the manifesto, why do the three global powers engage in perpetual war?
- What does Goldstein lay out as the biggest threat to the oligarchy of INGCOS/Big Brother? How has the party worked to limit this threat? Cite evidence from the text to support your answer.
- What does the broken paperweight at the end of Part Two Symbolize?
- When Julia and Winston are caught, why does the voice behind the telescreen repeat everything that they say? What is the purpose of this?
- What is the irony in the location of the telescreen in Charrington’s rented room?